Developmentally Disabled Man Made Fun Of By Fire Chief - KMSP-TV

Developmentally Disabled Man Made Fun Of By Fire Chief, Video Shows

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SOMERDALE, N.J. -

The video, taken two years ago, shows high ranking members of the Somerdale Volunteer Fire Department bullying and making fun of a firefighter with developmental disabilities.

It shows a group of Somerdale volunteer firefighters making fun of one of their own at his expense. The firefighter they are targeting is developmentally challenged.

Video shows Somerdale's Fire Chief Steve Daniels, along with a captain, a lieutenant and other firefighters all making inappropriate sexual comments to the disabled man who doesn't seem to understand why everyone is laughing.

There is even a teenage boy there hearing the crude exchange.

A couple times in the 3 minute video even the firefighters acknowledged they may have gone to far.

"What the **** is wrong with us", they can be heard saying.

The video was shot BY Mike Miller, a fourth generation firefighter.

"My heart went out to him. It was like a lamb to a slaughter," says Miler.

Miller was terminated from Somerdale Fire Department 2 years ago. The department says he was fired because he broke the rules.

Miller says he was targeted for speaking out against department policies.

"This was a continuing pattern of the type of things that went on there and that I needed to record it and have it"

It turns out the borough officials knew about the video two years ago.

The whole department had to attend a sensitivity training course.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell went to the Somerdale Fire House to ask Chief Daniels about the video but he wasn't there.

On the phone he tells us he's quote "deeply sorry" for what was said in the video. And says quote "since our training we haven't had any more incidents. We think we have taken steps so this never happens again."

We showed the video to several Somerdale residents.

 "That's unbelievable. never would have thought that," said one.

"No matter how you look at it he should resign. Call it quits," said another.

But why release the video now? Miller says the recent passing of his grandmother, also a volunteer with the fire service made him want to do the right thing.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell did speak with the Somerdale mayor tonight. He explains that he is disturbed by the video, but believes sensitivity training was the appropriate way to handle it.

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